A Retro Sail

Who’s in for a gaff-rigged sharpie yawl? Us, too!

Meet Sarah, a 52-foot gaff-rigged sharpie yawl. Say what? One step at a time: A yawl is a two-masted sailboat. On that type of boat, the mizzenmast is stepped far aft so that the mizzen boom overhangs the stern.

Got it? We thought so. Let’s move on then, shall we?

Back to the wooden sailboat named Sarah, which is now moored in Santa Cruz. Mr. Bill Garvie built the yawl, using 1890s sketches from a Mr. Thomas Clapham, a Yankee with a maritiminal imagination. Garvie was 80 years old when he started building the boat in the 1990s, a century after Clapham created the design.

yeoldyawlPhoto courtesy of British Library

Captain Forest Roberts, who subsequently bought Sarah, launches the1890s-designed yawl from Santa Cruz on two-hour charters that start at $53 per person on California Classic Sail. Fall on the water is terrific—you may catch a humpback or a gray. The weather is like summer. And, if you’re up for it, you might trim the mainsail when beating. If you luff, Captain Forest will correct course.

santa-cruz-harborPhoto by Tim Proffitt-White via Flickr

Title photo courtesy of California Classic Sail

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